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Old 04.07.2011, 23:19
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Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

just got a big bill of repairing cost of CHF3600 for my previous apartment after staying for 5 years.

while i have prepared for the supreme labour and material cost in switzerland, I'm a bit surprised by one of the biggest costs in the item list (CHF1,000). Could anyone share your experience or comments with me on this please?

I have caused some dents (3-4 marks) on one of the sections of the tabletop in the kitchen. To be specific, it is the tabletop between the cooker and the sink (around 60x60cm), with the marks of 2mm, 4mm, 5mm and 1 cm long. (pictures below). Material of the table top is 'stratifie' (i.e. not granite)

A quote of 1,600 CHF was made which covers the replacement of the WHOLE L-shaped kitchen tabletop (400cmx60cm on 1-side, 120x60cm the other side PLUS the bar table of 120x40cm on the top) and 1,000CHF is allocated to us as a result of 'amortization' basing on the number of year we live there.

Now I have many question marks in my mind as our rental contract didn't touch to that details.

1. Is it a norm OR legal practice that the landlord is entitled to replace the WHOLE kitchen tabletop due to the above minor dents. ? Honestly I'm very surprised to see this happen given the degree of damage...... (Of course, I would have done the same if I'm the landlord and if i'm entitled to do it)

2. Is there any standard amortization rate in the market. (the building is constructed in 2001 and we moved in mid-2006 and stayed for almost 5 years)

3. If we did pay the amount and the landlord decided to not change the whole kitchen but doing the re-touching on the surface only. Does he/she breach the law?!

finger-crossed the insurance could cover it. appreciate any input . thanks
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Last edited by muffin; 04.07.2011 at 23:30.
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Old 04.07.2011, 23:23
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

what a joke. maybe if you have insurance you can pass it on with the details and they can sort it out for you.
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Old 04.07.2011, 23:25
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

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just got a big bill of repairing cost of CHF3600 for my previous apartment after staying for 5 years.

while i have prepared for the supreme labour and material cost in switzerland, I'm a bit surprised by one of the biggest costs in the item list (CHF1,000). Could anyone share your experience or comments with me on this please?

I have caused some dents (3-4 marks) on one of the sections of the tabletop in the kitchen. To be specific, it is the tabletop between the cooker and the sink (around 60x60cm), with the marks of 2mm, 4mm, 5mm and 1 cm long. (pictures below). Material of the table top is 'stratifie' (i.e. not granite)

A quote of 1,600 CHF was made which covers the replacement of the WHOLE L-shaped kitchen tabletop (400cmx60cm on 1-side, 120x60cm the other side PLUS the bar table of 120x40cm on the top) and 1,000CHF is allocated to us as a result of 'amortization' basing on the number of year we live there.

Now I have many question marks in my mind as our rental contract didn't touch to that details.

1. Is it a norm OR legal practice that the landlord is entitled to replace the WHOLE kitchen tabletop due to the above minor dents. ? Honestly I'm very surprised to see this happen given the degree of damage...... (Of course, I would have done the same if I'm the landlord if i'm entitled to do it)

2. Is there any standard amortization rate in the market. (the building is constructed in 2001 and we moved in mid-2006 and stay for almost 5 years)

3. If we did pay the amount and the landlord decided to not change the whole kitchen but doing the re-touching on the surface only. Is he/she breach the law?!

finger-crossed the insurance could cover it. appreciate any input . thanks
I am really sorry to hear about that!!

Unfortunately, I do not have an answer, but my wife nicked
our kitchen top last week. I think it is granite, and I am a bit
scared to move out.

Good Luck!
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Old 04.07.2011, 23:35
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

Just tried to 'edit' the thread to "Advise pls --Apartment handover : Big bill for repairing cost" but failed.

any moderator could help please?

I'm eager to collect input from wise minds in the EF.....
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Old 05.07.2011, 00:43
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

Unfortunately, that happens ever so often... Greedy landlords just try to take advantage of you by passing you bills for the repair and refurbish of their flats. If they tell you "that is the rule here", ask them politely to show you where it is written.

Actually, you only have to pay for was is left of "service life" of the utilities (i.e. the time they can be used until they have to be replaced). For example, a new floor is installed in 2010 and have 10 years of "service life". If you leave the flat in 2015 and floor are all scratched, you only would have to pay 50% of the bill, as their service life left would be 5 years. The material should be the same - no replacing linoleum by hardwood floors. Also you have to discuss what is considered tear&wear and actual damage (putting a nail on the wall and cover the small hole with white paste vs opening a hole on the wall with the size of a watermelon). For five milimetric holes after a 5 year stay, it seems a bit ambitious to replace the whole working surfaces in the kitchen, IMHO. Lucky you your kitchen doesn't have a door....

If you have a household- or liability- insurance, I would give them call as soon as possible. These repairs bills can be claimed as part of your insurance and it is their best interest to have them as low and correct as possible. Normally, the insurers take over and start the discussions with the landlord.

In case you don't have an insurance, my recommendation would be contact the Mieterverband (renters association). You pay something like 100CHF/year and they can provide you support and guidance in these situations.

I have been in this situations a couple of times before, and as soon as the landlord start talking to the insurer, the bills were dramatically reduced or even pulled back.

Best of luck!
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Last edited by lucy_sg; 05.07.2011 at 00:54.
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Old 05.07.2011, 04:23
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

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1. Is it a norm OR legal practice that the landlord is entitled to replace the WHOLE kitchen tabletop due to the above minor dents. ? Honestly I'm very surprised to see this happen given the degree of damage...... (Of course, I would have done the same if I'm the landlord and if i'm entitled to do it)
It's not wood you can just sand it down. With this type of surface, there is really nothing to do to fix it. You can't patch it up. So it has to be replaced. Only the separate section that are damaged should be replaced really. If one is not damaged they shouldn't get to replace it. I bet they say it won't match.


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2. Is there any standard amortization rate in the market. (the building is constructed in 2001 and we moved in mid-2006 and stayed for almost 5 years)
Yes. There is. You'll have to search the site, the internet or wait for someone else to give you the link, but the amortization is standard.

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3. If we did pay the amount and the landlord decided to not change the whole kitchen but doing the re-touching on the surface only. Does he/she breach the law?!
Sorry, I don't know. I would imagine he wouldn't need to actually fix it if he doesn't want to. But that's just my personal opinion. I come to this by thinking of is someone dents your car and the insurance pays you, you are not obliged to actually fix the car. Your best bet & my next suggestion is to agree with Lucy that you need to go to join & talk to Asloca.

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finger-crossed the insurance could cover it. appreciate any input . thanks
Ok, they are crossed. But please let me know when I can uncross them!
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Old 05.07.2011, 09:43
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

Here's a link to a table of how long things are expected to last in an apartment:

http://www.mieterverband.ch/smv_lebensdauertab.0.html

and specific for the kitchen:
http://ldt.innov8.ch/objekte.php?Gid=7

Küchenabdeckung
Kunstharzoberfläche 15 JahreErsatz, Richtpreis pro Stk.: 1300.-
So this kind of kitchen top is expected to last 15 years, approximate replacement value is 1300 francs.
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Old 05.07.2011, 09:53
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

Welcome to Switzerland - one of the most anal aspects of living here.
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Old 05.07.2011, 10:05
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

7 years leads to 3'600 francs? I'd a) not think that's too bad and b) ensure I have good insurance.

I got nailed for that amount after 8 months of living in a place and let the insurance handle the admin and claim. It's their job to not pay out if they can help it
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Old 05.07.2011, 10:26
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

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Here's a link to a table of how long things are expected to last in an apartment:

http://www.mieterverband.ch/smv_lebensdauertab.0.html

and specific for the kitchen:
http://ldt.innov8.ch/objekte.php?Gid=7

Küchenabdeckung
Kunstharzoberfläche 15 JahreErsatz, Richtpreis pro Stk.: 1300.-
So this kind of kitchen top is expected to last 15 years, approximate replacement value is 1300 francs.
thank you very much. this is a very very good and useful link. I would have given you a green reputation if i have any 'stock' with me
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Old 05.07.2011, 11:01
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

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Here's a link to a table of how long things are expected to last in an apartment:

http://www.mieterverband.ch/smv_lebensdauertab.0.html

and specific for the kitchen:
http://ldt.innov8.ch/objekte.php?Gid=7

Küchenabdeckung
Kunstharzoberfläche 15 JahreErsatz, Richtpreis pro Stk.: 1300.-
So this kind of kitchen top is expected to last 15 years, approximate replacement value is 1300 francs.
Helpful information, thanks. Although I think the listed lifetimes are a bit too optimistic.
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Old 05.07.2011, 11:58
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

I think the lifetimes are pretty optimistic too. But still, even going with the 15-year lifetime for this kitchen top. If the kitchen was put in when the building was constructed in 2001, it'd mean the kitchen top would be expected to last through 2016, so there are in theory only 5 years of "lifetime" left. So you should be charged for 33% of the total cost to replace the kitchen top, as far as I understand it - so it'd be 528 francs rather than 1000 francs the landlord is trying to charge.

Also one could argue whether or not it's really necessary to replace the kitchen top or whether it would still be acceptable for the next renter to use. I'd talk to the Mieterverband about what's the best course of action.
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Old 05.07.2011, 12:15
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

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I am really sorry to hear about that!!

Unfortunately, I do not have an answer, but my wife nicked
our kitchen top last week. I think it is granite, and I am a bit
scared to move out.

Good Luck!
Nicked your kitchen top? How did she manage to carry it? Granite's pretty heavy stuff......
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Old 05.07.2011, 12:20
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

I had a CHF7,500 bill after 9 months in a place for all the "damage" we had done. Insurance took care of it all.

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7 years leads to 3'600 francs? I'd a) not think that's too bad and b) ensure I have good insurance.

I got nailed for that amount after 8 months of living in a place and let the insurance handle the admin and claim. It's their job to not pay out if they can help it
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Old 05.07.2011, 12:22
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

Just discovered a watermark on my granite countertop. Not looking forward to moving out now...
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Old 05.07.2011, 12:52
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

Make sure you have insurance then there is nothing to worry about.

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Just discovered a watermark on my granite countertop. Not looking forward to moving out now...
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Old 05.07.2011, 13:04
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

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Make sure you have insurance then there is nothing to worry about.
Just standard house (flat) insurance right?
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Old 05.07.2011, 13:12
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

No that would cover you for theft etc. What you need is Haftpflichtversicherung (civil/private liability insurance). Sorry can't remember what it is called in the non German speaking areas of Switzerland.

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Just standard house (flat) insurance right?
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Old 05.07.2011, 13:32
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

I am continuously amazed by the LACK of responsibility that landlords themselves assume here (financially or otherwise), especially considering the fact that they rarely seem to update their properties. It took my husband and I EIGHT MONTHS to find a decent new flat in/around Zurich because the majority of the flats had apparently never been updated since the 1970s.
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Old 05.07.2011, 14:19
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Re: Apartment handover - big bill for repairing cost

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No that would cover you for theft etc. What you need is Haftpflichtversicherung (civil/private liability insurance). Sorry can't remember what it is called in the non German speaking areas of Switzerland.
Great advice, Lou!!! I just signed up for various insurances including Assurance de menages (Haushaltversicherung), Protection juridique (Rechtsschutz) and Responsabilité civile privée (Haftpflichtversicherung). Although I live in the German speaking side, my French is WAY better than my German, so I did all of the registration and paperwork en français.

I signed up for the insurances last month and we're moving next month. After seeing those minuscule damages, I'm going to run along and look at how long the private civil responsibility policy typically needs to be in place before a claim can be made!!
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